Sunday, July 22, 2018

SHARK WEEK 2018



Regular blog readers will know that 2nd Man and I love the Discovery Channel's annual tradition of Shark Week.  It's a week long prime time lineup of shows about all types of sharks...with an emphasis on the Great White shark of course. 

Thought it might be fun this year to have every post this week include a farm related shark sighting photo at the end of the post. "Farm Shark" perhaps? We'll just have to see what we can capture on camera!

 Image result for great white shark

Beautiful creatures, but also quite scary.  While we love watching from the safety of our couch, we don't ever need to see one in the wild.  Because, well, we all know how that would end...

Related image

Don't be scared, it's only on TV!

Happy Shark Week!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

THE HOT WEEKEND


It's hot.  We are under a heat advisory and they have set up cooling centers around town.  It is that time of year when they tell people to do the absolute minimum and if at all possible, stay inside.  
We're OK with that.  



It was 99 Saturday with a feels like of 104.

Sunday is supposed to hit 102 with a feels like closer to 109 or 110. 


You know last weekend we posted about someone losing control and taking out the mailboxes?  Well I bought a new mailbox and numbers (blanked out of course for posting) and "R" from 2nd Family built new posts for both.  He put them up.  Here is a picture.  They are beautiful!  


This wood is in it's FOURTH (and presumably final) incarnation.  

This was their daughter's playhouse when she was younger.  When she got older, they dismantled it and used it in a small chicken coop.  When they enlarged the coop, they used this wood to make an arbor.  They took the arbor down this year and saved the wood again.  Now it has become mailbox posts.  

Now THAT is re-purposing!


In the comfort of air conditioning, 2nd Man made this  three mushroom potato gnocchi dish.  

Sigh.  So good.   


Us the rest of this weekend...

Friday, July 20, 2018

CLUTTER RELIEF BOX

There is a shelf in the mudroom right by the back door to the porch...


...and it becomes my dumping resting point for everything I'm using at the time in the garden our outside or whatever.  Honestly, it's easier to put it there rather than carrying it out to the shed.  But for 2nd Man, it's a bit frustrating because he likes less clutter laying around.


I found this plastic tote downstairs at the apartment building (one of my trash to treasure finds a few weeks back) and figured it would be perfect for use as a way to corral the clutter.  And with it being a rubberized plastic, it doesn't matter if items are dirty or damp.  I can just put it all in there and dig around through it when I need something. 

2nd Man is happy.
And if he's happy, we're all happy, LOL!



Thursday, July 19, 2018

GALVANIZED TUB FOUNTAIN INSPIRATION THURSDAY

Every Thursday we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm. Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and someday, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!


Always looking for fun little ideas of things that we could do sometime.  We have seen some galvanized tub ponds, of various sizes but when we saw this, with the fountain, we thought it was a neat idea.   Especially tucked into the corner of a flowerbed.  A water feature, with the sound of falling water, is always welcome when relaxing on the porch.  

Hmm, we do still have that galvanized tub that I found downstairs at the apartment...

Be inspired!  

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

OVEN ROASTED STRAWBERRIES

Recently, I found some articles online about roasting fruit in the oven.  I thought it might be nice to try since 2nd Man was going to make a pound cake.

Last week we posted HERE about roasting the blueberries.  Since we were going for red, white and blue in the dessert, we decided to use strawberries for the red part of that.

Fresh strawberries
This is one pound of fresh strawberries. I washed them, removed the stems, and cut them in half (quartered some of the larger ones).

Strawberries on sheet pan
Next, I placed them on a sheet pan covered with foil and then parchment paper on top of that to protect the pan from the sticky syrup.

These are tossed with 4 Tbsp sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract.  A great combination.  

Roasted strawberries
Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until they start to caramelize because of the sugar. Stir a few times during the process.  I stirred it around about three times I guess.

Roasted strawberry topping
Pour them into a container and make sure to get the syrup.  It's SO good!

Red white and blueberry pound cake dessert
This is what we used it for.  A homemade pound cake topped with the roasted blueberries, whipped cream and of course these wonderful roasted strawberries.


Between these two jars, there are almost two pounds of fruit cooked down to this.  This topping is so worth it and are great for anything you might want to put a fruit topping on.  Ice cream, waffles, pancakes, spread on toast, pound cake (or any cake really), just whoever you want the rich, roasted fruit taste.


Monday, July 16, 2018

COURTESY OF THE ELECTRIC COMPANY

In a way we're kinda glad we weren't at the farm to see this thing coming through the yard!

It certainly is quite surreal, driving through the front yard of the farm.
(click play on the video below)



By the way, ignore the date on here.  I changed the batteries on the trailcam and forgot to reset the date/time.  It obviously wasn't 91 degrees back in January, ha.  This was last week.  

The electric co-op for our area comes every couple of years and trims everything and anything that is near the power lines.  

The whole "utility easement" rule and all...


They went along the fence line on the West side of the property and then all the way to the back corner.  It's actually nice because they cleared a spot that I had been meaning to get to.  Now I just have to keep it mowed.  


They also did a wide swath all along the front by the road.  You can see in this picture how we need a fence.  There is, sort of, the remnants of an old fence but it offers no security at all.  We need to have it removed (it's old barbed wire) and then have a nice new fence put in. 


Here it is from driveway looking all along the front of the property.  Yep, that whole length is ours all the way to the furthest point in the picture, just past that third power pole.

I'm going to have to try and keep it mowed just so that the new fence will be easier to set up.  In this heat though, it isn't easy to work up the energy to do extra work, ha. 

By the way, a few of you have asked, there is a blog post about them when we got them, but here is the link, these are the trail cams that we are using:


We bought them last year on Amazon Prime Day, where they were pretty much buy one/get one. Today is actually Amazon Prime Day.  We have no idea if they will be on sale this year again but there may be others if you are so inclined to look.  We love having the cams up and may grab a couple more today if they (or others) go on sale.



Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

MAILBOX CRASH, HEAT, VEGGIES AND RAIN WEEKEND UPDATE

It was a busy weekend and hotter than Hell.  Ugh.  


First up was this project.  We got a message from 2nd Family the other night.  To quote "J", some inebriated BillyBob crashed into the ditch, took out both of the mailboxes, posts and all, and then was somehow able to drive off!

So "R" is building some new posts and all we had to do was get the mailbox and make it ready. So after mowing, I sat on the porch and got the numbers put on both sides of the box.  Next weekend we'll get to see the end result.  Now we just have to hope they stay up for a few years without a drunk driver taking them out again.


This was our harvest for the weekend (I knew cukes would start coming in!) and so we decided to give all these to 2nd Family as a thank you so they could enjoy the results as well.  "J" said cucumber salad was on the menu.  Not sure I've ever had cucumber salad but I'll see if I can find out how she does it.  


The day started out clear (and hot).  I mowed AND edged.  I realized it takes almost as long to edge everything as it does to mow.  The mowing was about an hour and a half (this time) and the edging was an hour and fifteen minutes, stopping of course to refuel and put on new string for the trimmer.

I have to edge around the perimeter of the house.  Then then the garden fence.  Then the citrus trees. Then the flowerbeds.  Then the 8 raised beds of the fruit trees.  And lastly the barn and the shed.  Then I put the trimmer up in the shed and it's all done.  It looks so much better when it's done but damn, that part is a lot of work.  And I skipped the fence line and the trees down the driveway.  I just didn't have it in me in this heat. 

The mower is a Zen Machine.  
The weedeater is most definitely NOT Zen.


Took a break on the porch, 2nd Man was reading a cookbook in the living room and we heard thunder.  It started getting darker, cloudier and you could smell rain on the wind. We checked the radar and storms were coming.


We packed up, got in the car and by the time we got to the freeway, it was pouring.  Perfect timing.  FYI, I was driving, 2nd Man took the photo, ha.  

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Friday, July 13, 2018

ANY SUPERSTITIONS ON THIS FRIDAY THE 13TH


tris·kai·dek·a·pho·bi·a

"A fear of the number 13"

There are two Friday the 13th's this year.  A lot of people think it's an unlucky day and are genuinely nervous about it.  To us, it's just another day.  I will admit though that while I personally don't have any that really freak me out, if I see a ladder over a sidewalk, I will NOT walk under it, and I will actually knock on wood if I say something that requires it.  I mean really, why take the chance?  LOL!  

  But we don't worry about the number 13, we step on cracks, we've opened umbrellas indoor and, um, we are OWNED by a black cat, ha.
(edited thanks to KCD)


Speaking of, just recently we heard a superstition we had NEVER heard of before.  "If you cut your nails at night, it will attract ghosts and evil spirits". Um, OK...

What are YOU superstitious about?

Thursday, July 12, 2018

WASH TUB IN FLOWER BED INSPIRATION THURSDAY

Every Thursday we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm. Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and someday, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!


We like this display of plants and flowers.  I actually love the washtub, my Grandmother had two just like it and she used them for the same thing, sort of plants and just as a yard decor.  Well, I take that back, ORIGINALLY she actually USED them to wash clothes. It was only later after they got their first washer that she had to use them for something else.  Funny side note, she still refused to get a dryer, she liked the clothesline. What I wouldn't give for pictures of her house when everything was in bloom.  I need to look through some old photo albums one of these days.

Anyway, we were thinking about something like this around the sides of the barn and/or shed.   

Be inspired!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

OVEN ROASTED BLUEBERRIES

Recently, I found some articles online about roasting fruit in the oven.  I thought it might be nice to try since 2nd Man was going to make a pound cake for the 4th of July.

Fresh blueberries
I started with a package of fresh blueberries.
This is 2 cups total.  

Blueberries on sheet pan 
I put them on a sheet pan.  I put foil down first to seal off the pan and then parchment paper on top of that.  This keeps them off the foil but also keeps the pan spotless (and this process is messy for sure).

Toss the blueberries with 1 tsp sugar and a couple pinches of salt.  Yes.  Salt.  It really brings out the flavor and makes for a nice balance.

Roasted blueberries
Roast for 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until the berries begin to burst.  At about 10 minutes, I pulled the pan out and stirred them around.

 Roasted blueberry topping
When done, pour them off the parchment and be sure to scrape off that delicious syrup that is pooling just underneath the berries.

It's funny, I looked around for a container and then realized, um, hello, MASON JAR!

Red white and blueberry pound cake
This batch was destined for our red white and blueberry pound cake dessert.  


We did both strawberries and blueberries (two separate pans) and it's amazing that 2 cups and/or 1 pound cook down to this small amount.  But wow is it ever good.  Great topping for not just pound cake but also pancakes or waffles, ice cream, we even had some as a topping on homemade bread with a little butter.  2nd Man said it was like a rich jam, which in a way I guess it was.  Fruit, sugar, roasting until pectin starts thickening it.  

Will post the strawberries process next week.